July is in full swing across Michigan and temperatures have gone into the high 80s and even into the 90s during the start of the month. That means people will be heading outdoors to soak up the sun, but make sure you wear that sunscreen and protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
While most people know to apply sunscreen before going outside, people do believe some myths about protecting yourself from the sun. Dr. James Forshee, the chief medical officer at Priority Health, debunks some of the common myths people may follow.
- "Less is more when it comes to sunscreen application." – This isn't true, Forshee said. Most people only apply 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. Most adults need about one ounce of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, to cover your body.
- "A base tan or darker skin will protect you from the sun." – Forshee says tanning to protect yourself from skin cancer accomplishes the exact opposite. Experts say that going out in the sun is like wearing sunscreen with with a 3-4 SPF.
- "The sun is the strongest when at its hottest." – According to Forshee, this is the biggest myth people believe. The American Cancer Society says you should limit direct exposure to the sun, especial between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest.
According to Forshee, if you're constantly using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and proactively wearing sunscreen, long-sleeve shirts and wide-brimmed hats, there's no need to worry.